Beyond New Castle: Connecting the Dots
Thanks to a combination of serendipity, to some old fashioned “hutzpah” (I simply asked Secretary Clinton if I could join other press some time on a mission), and ultimately, to due diligence (follow up and hard work made it happen) …I ventured well past New Castle’s borders this past summer on the most unlikely adventure…to report on a Secretary of State in Africa and in Turkey.
Many folks congratulated me on landing “an opportunity of a lifetime.” At one point, I stated that I hoped that this was, rather, the beginning of a lifetime of opportunities. Because something changed in me over the course of those 11 days. I connected the dots. Our fates, from every corner of the globe, I came to see, are intrinsically tied together. Violence and instability in one region of the world threatens peace at home too–if renegade splinter groups make it past far away borders into our own, as one example.
From a purely humanitarian point of view, the ravages of HIV or malaria, or inadequate nutrition for millions, or human rights abuses by dictators or the degradation of women and girls are not problems easily ignored either. Aside from my role as a journalist, I felt an intense pride being a citizen of a country that has the resources to help, and during an election year, no less, traveling with a leader who is clearly so intent on doing so.
My only regret was the lack of time to explore Africa and its people. To truly connect the dots, there’s no greater empathy builder than connecting with people–taking the time to speak with and interact with people living in other cultures. Still, even the sporadic conversation, with an Embassy staffer or a cultural affairs minister, even with an armed guard at one point!, most definitely enhanced my experience. It was those little moments I’ll cherish just as much as covering world leaders meeting.
And so, the concept of “Local Goes Global” was born. I was delighted in the course of promoting it to learn of several Greeley students interested in sharing their own travel experiences and I’m proud to feature their tales too. This summer, I had fun following the adventures of my friend, a Chappaqua teacher and freelance writer, Miriam Longobardi, and asked her to offer some perspective on teacher trips abroad…both for work and for leisure.
I also thought finding out how to maximize your relationship with a nanny from another culture would fit our theme, and Vicki de Vries got right on that one after just wrapping up her article here on “Sparkle for a Cause” at Crabtree’s Kittle House. Even Maggie Mae stepped in to find out about dog breeds from around the world who reside around town. Finally, as always, I’m deeply grateful to our sponsors for going with the flow and providing a hefty dose of “global wisdom” in the mix. Enjoy!